Coast Guard, local agencies rescue 2 off large ice floe near Presque Isle Park

Members of Coast Guard Station Marquette and Marquette Fire Rescue return to shore after rescuing two men from a large ice floe off of Presque Isle Park, April 2, 2015. The Coast Guard is warning people to remain off of ice as warm temperatures slowly melt and weaken the ice creating dangerous and life-threatening situations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Gerard Gagnon)

Members of Coast Guard Station Marquette and Marquette Fire Rescue return to shore after rescuing two men from a large ice floe off of Presque Isle Park, April 2, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Gerard Gagnon)

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Coast Guard and Marquette Fire and Sheriff’s Departments assisted two persons back to shore after the ice on which they were walking broke free and began floating away from land.

A Watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Sault Ste. Marie received a call from Marquette County Dispatch at about 6:40 p.m. stating that two men were adrift on a large ice floe about 600 yards off of Presque Isle Park.

An ice rescue team from Coast Guard Station Marquette was dispatched and, trailering their ice rescue equipment, arrived on scene at about 6:50 p.m. First responders from Marquette Fire and Sheriff’s Departments were also notified of the situation and responded.

Members of the ice rescue team were able to walk about 400 yards from shore on the ice with their 12-foot inflatable rescue craft before arriving at open water. They then transited the water another 200 yards before reaching the men on the ice floe. The two men, 19-years old, were given life jackets, brought onto the rescue craft, taken off the ice floe and across the open water back to the main ice where members of the fire department were waiting to walk them back to shore. All responders and the two men were safely back on shore within 20 minutes.

The two men, who were wearing short pants, gym shoes and t-shirts, did not suffer any injuries or hypothermia. They were examined by EMS on shore and released.

The Coast Guard is warning people to remain off all ice as it continues to slowly melt and become unpredictable. Warm temperatures, coupled by winds, will cause ice to weaken and crack resulting in ice floes. Ice will easily drift with the current and be blown in different directions resulting in dangerous and life-threatening situations for persons who have put themselves in those situations, as well as the first responders.

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